CAN you imagine the surprise when the chap from Whitehall knocks on the door and says, “Mr Joseph Brown? Sign here, please, and here’s £2.7million.”
“Here’s the cash. I hope you will both be very happy.”
“I think there’s been some mistake.”
“No mistake. You’re Joseph Brown and that’s the name on my list and, anyway, we’re from Whitehall. We don’t make mistakes.”
“No buts, Mr Brown. It’s your lucky day.”
“I really think you should check this out.”
“Look. Be a good chap, bank the money and have a nice holiday in the Bahamas. If we start checking out every query we get, we’d never get anything done. More trouble than it’s worth, is checking it out.”
“Are you sure …?”
“Of course, I’m sure. I’m with the Government. You can’t get more sure than that, can you? Now, take the cash. If you take my advice you’ll spend it on wine, women and song, and squander the rest. Get it? Eh?
“Joke? Ah well, please yourself.”
Chance would be a fine thing, wouldn’t it, if a man from the Government knocked on your door and gave you a chunk of money by mistake?
Well it happened to Newcastle under Lyme, a town with a population of 74,000. A man from the ministry sent them £2.7 million that was meant for Newcastle upon Tyne, a city with a population of 260,000.
A spokesman for the Newcastle Brown Ale and fading football dream city said, “It was an astonishing error by a Whitehall department.”
While a chap at the Staffordshire market town said, “We have no intention of giving the money back.”
Government departments can’t seem to get a lot right, these days. They lose computer disks and information and send money to the wrong place.
I just wish they could get their act together long enough to send me a cheque for a couple of million and then lose the computer disk that
logged the mistake.
You never know. It could happen.
Mogramming your intentions
FRANK Appleyard offers some more thoughts on Yorkshire dialect words.
“Here are two I've remembered:
“First is ‘Floping’ – pronounced to rhyme with ‘sloping’ - means going without enough clothes on (as youngsters do to late night clubs these days), usually followed by a parental, ‘Put summat on; tha'll catch thi deeath o' cowd.’
“And ‘Mogramming’ - rhymes almost with ‘programming’ - meaning to gesticulate with arms and hands when speech is not practicable because of noise or distance.
“I should add that the spelling of these two words may be suspect because you never saw them in print.
“Hope they're of interest and that I'm not too late.”
Never too late to add to the treasure trove of Yorkshire dialect, sithee.
Love, lies and online
I THOUGHT I’d try computer dating for Valentine’s Day. Purely in the interest of research, of course.
And by heck, the advancing years hasn’t affected the old magic.
In no time at all I was in a chat room exchanging sweet nothings with a 22-year-old air hostess called Sharon who looked a lot like Nicole Appleton from All Saints.
And by hummers, she was a cheeky fast cat.
Purely by chance she was on a stop-over at Crosland Moor Airfield, she said, and did I fancy a pint?
Well, what could I say?
After all, this was purely in the interest of research (and not a word to the wife) so I agreed to meet her in The Red Lion at Lockwood.
And what a shock I got.
She looked nothing like her picture. In fact, she looked more like a 68-year-old widow in a mail order wig. At least she had all her own teeth. She kept them in a glass of water next to her pint of Guinness.
Mind you, I suppose she was a bit disappointed too when she found out I looked nothing like Tom Cruise.
The things we say in the pursuit of romance, eh?
Particularly on the internet.